This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!

The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.

I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Stuffed Monkey

Stuffed Monkey - how could I resist?
I found the recipe in 'English Food' by Jane Grigson, 1974.
My initial reaction was to wonder what on earth such
a recipe could be doing in the 'Teatime' section
along with cakes, scones, bread and buns.

Rest assured, no monkey was harmed in the making of this dish.

It is something of a mystery as to how it got such a name.
Jane Grigson got the recipe from a Jewish Cookbook
written by Florence Greenberg.

My interest was piqued, not least by the unusual name
also by the apparent simplicity of the dish.


6 oz flour
Half tsp cinnamon
4 oz butter
4 oz soft brown sugar
1 egg, separated

Make a dough with the flour, cinnamon, butter, sugar and egg yolk, mix it as though making pastry.
Roll it out and cut into two rounds to fit into an 8 inch cake tin.
Fit the first round into the buttered tin.

1 1/2 oz butter
2 oz chopped peel
1 oz caster sugar
2 oz ground almonds
1 egg yolk

Melt the butter and then beat in all the other ingredients.
Spread the mixture over the pastry.
Cover with the second round.
Tuck the edges in neatly.
Brush with the egg white.
Bake at 190 C/375F for about 30 minutes.
Cool in the tin and then turn out carefully.

The outer case is crisp and flavoursome while the filling is almost marzipan-like,
 very dense, rich.
It is a fabulous teatime treat
a coffee-time treat.
Any time treat.
Indulge yourself!

Easy to make.
Stores well.
Tastes delicious.


  1. All ingredients I like. This is a fun blog. :)

    1. Hello Deb, I'm glad you enjoyed it. We really like it - no monkeying around with a million ingredients, plus it tastes great!

  2. I'll be trying this monkey, and stuffing my mouth as usual!!

    1. Hello Linda, My resolve weakened with this one, I had a second slice and then an extra sliver for good luck. I really like the combination of flavours and textures. You could always try it with a small capuchin(o) on the side.

  3. Sounds delightful. If I make it I'd first have to translate your oz. into tablespoons and cups.

    1. Hello Marcia, Honestly, it was scrumptious! My daughter likes using cup measurements and so forth but I far prefer to use the scales - preferably in ounces and pounds, but I'll do the metric version if I have to!

  4. I love the name! It is one that I will try, I love anything that has almonds in!

    1. Hello Sharon, I am a big fan of almonds - delicious and nutritious. This unusual recipe will definitely be trundled out now and then. It disappeared at a rate of knots!